A research kaleidoscope at the Language Centre

Posted on 21/08/2017 · Posted in Dialogos, Recent news, Research

Research and publishing research findings are essential for an academic institution to build its reputation and credibility. At the Language Centre, our research also allows us to reflect on what we do, why we do it, and whether the way we are doing it is still the best.

In addition to performing their day jobs, ten staff members at the Language Centre are also busy with postgraduate research. Seven master’s studies are currently underway – topics vary from the development of a job demand control scheme for educational interpreters; an investigation into the quality of translated Afrikaans texts in the banking industry; meta-discourse markers in texts written by multilingual students; reading speed development; to integrated language learning; curriculum design for clinical isiXhosa communication; and using clicker technology in an isiXhosa communication course. The three doctoral candidates are, respectively, investigating revision as an aspect of quality management in an academic translation office; the production network of an interpreted university lecture; and the development of second-language writing skills in Afrikaans at university level.

Three staff members were furthermore awarded qualifications for completed research during the past year. Madelé du Plessis obtained an MPhil in Education for her work on the evaluation of a clinical communication course in isiXhosa at a health sciences faculty. Vernita Beukes was awarded a PhD for her task-based, computer-aided social Afrikaans learning and teaching programme aimed at non-Afrikaans speaking international students. Kabelo Sebolai obtained his PhD for research on the incremental validity of three academic literacy tests at a South African university of technology.

Research expands horizons, enabling us to approach tasks in new ways, and creating opportunities to share our findings with the outside world. Over and above the language support function that the Language Centre fulfils every day, expertise is thus also developed in a number of areas. To contact an expert in any of the fields featured in this article, please e-mail Dr Rose Richards.